Our good friend S. will be staying here for about five months, travelling up to Dublin for work and it seems un-hostlike to make her sleep on top of all our hoarded crap in the spare room. Crap, I might add, that has been languishing in cardboard boxes since we moved over last year.

Mr B and I, we’re both hoarders by nature, which made the task of deciding what we could possibly do without a bit painful. (‘But I need EVERYTHING! ALL THE TIME! Well, ok, maybe not EVERYTHING… but most of it! Including the stuff in your hands that you’re about to chuck out!’)

So, while I was rummaging through all those cardboard boxes, I stumbled across a copy of Gourmet magazine from April 2007, with the page folded back to this recipe. It looked like I was going to make it just before the big move but then got distracted by things like tying up council tax and utilities, finishing up at my last job and working out which cookbooks I couldn’t bear to part with for the duration of said move

High time then, to remedy the matter.

Fresh pineapple upsidedown cake from Gourmet magazine, April 2007

Serves 8 to 10 people, apparently.

1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 fresh pineapple, halved lengthwise, peeled and cored
1 1/2 sticks (165g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1. Position a rack in the centre of the oven, along with a baking tray*, and preheat to 180C/350F.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Cut the pineapple crosswise into 1/4 inch thick wedges.

3. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2-inches deep) lightly on the side and generously on the bottom of the pan using 1/2 stick/55g butter. Sprinkle all of the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan and arrange the pineapple over it, starting in the centre and overlapping slices slightly.

4. Beat together the remaining stick of butter (110g), granulated sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes, then add the eggs – one at a time – beating well after each addition.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mix alternately with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing until the batter is just smooth.

6. Spread the batter evenly over the pineapple and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean – about 40 to 45 mins. Cool for 15 mins in the pan on a rack, then invert the cake onto a plate and remove the pan. Cool to room temperature and then serve. 

*You’ll need the baking tray to catch any buttery-sugary drips from the side of the tin.